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An Mheitheal Rothar continue to Recycle bikes for locals and we were delighted to help.

– Community Finance Ireland delivers €0.5million in support for Galway community organisations –

The award-winning An Mheitheal Rothar (AMR), a social-sustainable enterprise based in Galway City, is rolling out an expanded service at their community workshop at NUI Galway and at their retail outlet in Galway Shopping Centre, thanks to funding from Community Finance Ireland (CFI). 

Founded in 2012, An Mheitheal Rothar provides access to cycling and cycling mechanic skills training to people in Galway, regardless of their ability to pay. In 2018, the social enterprise introduced their award winning ‘Recycle Your Cycle’ initiative, which repairs and upcycles second-hand bikes. 

An Mheitheal Comhashaol Cooperative, trading as An Mheitheal Rothar, accessed a bridging loan from Community Finance Ireland, an all-island social finance provider, which supports community projects that drive social impact through sports, the arts, faith-based groups and social enterprises.

Cathy Coote, Fundraising and Communications Officer at An Mheitheal Rothar,said the funding has been critical to expand and upscale their offering to the local community in Galway. She said: 

“Our loan from Community Finance Ireland is enabling us to invest in new bike stock for our bike shop. Customers can avail of the Bike to Work scheme for these new bikes. The funds we generate support our work, such as providing free second-hand bikes for students studying under the University of Sanctuary programme as well as repairs, training and upcycled bikes for sale. All this helps to grow the numbers of people cycling for health, transport and sustainability.”

Since 2016, CFI has provided €0.5million in social finance loans to projects based in Galway.  Client Relationship Manager for Connacht and Donegal, Anne Graham, says there’s huge potential for others in Galway to follow in AMR’s footsteps. 

Ms. Graham said: “It’s fantastic to see AMR growing to meet the demand in their local community and for that growth to be sustainable. Like AMR, Community Finance Ireland is a social enterprise – all the repayments made on social finance loans go right back into supporting another community group either here in Galway or across the country. 

“In that sense, our social finance loans aren’t dissimilar to the circular economy which AMR support. We’re delighted to be helping people in Galway get on their bikes, which will in turn help us support a local GAA club in Donegal or a Family Recourse Centre in Mayo.”

  • Anne Graham, Community Finance Ireland is working across Connaught and Donegal
  • For more information on An Mheitheal Rothar, visit: https://bikeworkshops.ie/ 

About Community Finance Ireland

Community Finance Ireland delivers social finance solutions that support local communities and drive social impact through sports, community projects, faith-based groups, and social enterprises.  It is the fastest growing dedicated social finance provider across the island of Ireland and the UK. 

Community Finance Ireland is part of the UCIT Group, established in Belfast in 1995 and now supports a diverse portfolio of clients across the island of Ireland from Bantry to Ballymoney, and from Dublin to Dingle.

Currently, Community Finance Ireland is the only Irish and UK member of FEBEA, the European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks. 

For further information, visit www.communityfinanceireland.com or keep in touch on our teams latest news @ComFinanceIrl.  

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Dónal Traynor pledges social finance solutions for every community across the island of Ireland.

Community Finance Ireland, the fastest-growing social finance provider in Ireland and the UK, has announced the appointment of Dónal Traynor as the organisation’s new chief executive officer. He replaces Harry McDaid who retired last month after seven years at the helm.

Community Finance Ireland offers finance products specifically tailored for the community sector including sports clubs, community projects, faith-based groups, and social enterprises.

Originally from Cavan, Mr Traynor (44) is the youngest CEO in the organisation’s 25-year history, and the first to come from a non-banking background. He served as Associate Director with Community Finance Ireland since 2014.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Traynor said,  

“My qualifications in economics and business, and my accreditation from the Institute of Bankers could have easily paved the way to a traditional banking career but after 16 years working in social finance, I have seen the incredible impact that it can have on communities, particularly in rural areas where grassroots organisations can be a lifeline for the community.

Since 2004, I have driven the length and breadth of the island to meet the staff and volunteers who are changing their communities for the better.  From local GAA clubs, to mountain rescue teams, and after-school groups, we worked together to develop new projects or start new building works.

At the heart of every single project, we have supported, is the dedication and capacity of the staff and volunteers. They have the commitment and the energy and often they just need the right funding to get an idea off the ground or take the next step. I believe that affordable, innovative and sustainable social finance solutions should be as accessible and common-place as local cooperatives or credit unions.

This year we have seen the incredible things that can happen when communities pull together, whether it’s rising to the challenges of unprecedented times or taking an opportunity to create something new for their community.

For me, local community has always been about sport. I’ve played GAA and soccer since I was a kid and now my own children are involved in our local club in Meath. I know what these organisations – whether it’s a sports club, a faith group or a community farm – mean to their communities and the positive impact that they have. That’s why Community Finance Ireland are here, to provide the practical support and advice that communities need to make a change or a dream come true.”

Donál Traynor Group Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Traynor has worked closely with grassroots organisations on both sides of the border and managed Community Finance Ireland’s first cross-border community business mentoring programme ‘netWORKS’ between 2004 to 2008, the only programme of it’s kind on the island of Ireland.

Welcoming the appointment, Damian McAteer, Chair of Community Finance Ireland said, “2020 marks a new chapter for Community Finance Ireland with our new all-island brand launching earlier this year and a renewed focus for us to operate on an all-island basis. Dónal has led our team in the Republic of Ireland with ambition and vision for the last 16 years, and I welcome the wealth of experience and commitment he will bring to communities from Ballymena, Co. Antrim to Ballyhea Co. Cork.

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